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The Gift of Doing Nothing


Growing up I thought ‘well nourished’ meant being sufficiently fed healthy, nutritious food.

As I get older, I have realised that sometimes it means chocolate.

Or a good book and a cozy blanket.

Or coffee with a friend.

Or touch.

There are so many things that keep our minds and bodies working as they are meant to. Yes, healthy eating is part of it. But it is far from the whole picture.

We live in a world that is moving at an incredible pace. We get swept up in the excitement, taken along for the ride. And sometimes we get caught in the current, unable to break free, get back to land - that place where we feel good, whole and safe.

When I moved out of home and to the other side of the world, I knew the basics. Eat healthy (most of the time), do some exercise a few times a week, brush your teeth, keep a clean house. But I had no idea of just how hard it is to juggle that and work, keeping my head above water, your bank account above zero, and still finding time for myself.

I had never considered the importance of family time; quiet time; creative time. And for a while, I was very nearly drowning, pulled along in that current of keeping up, putting on the happy face, being busy.

As we run in circles trying to deal with the daily physical needs, many people unintentionally neglect themselves.

They forget about their spiritual selves, their inner child, warrior, goddess, in whatever combination you may have them. We forget that nourishment and health go so far beyond our physicality.

With mental illness and suicide on the rise world wide, I can only wonder if there’s a link.

For myself, I know that when things were less than ideal, it was hard to reconnect and to find the ways to nurture and heal myself. I was lucky to find a tribe of wonderful women - each of them healers whether they knew or considered themselves to be such. They listen, they allow and they accept. We create together, cry together, sing, dance and sit in silence.

Finding this tribe and allowing myself to gradually feel at home with them has allowed me to take that feeling and stretch it between the times we meet.

I take time - maybe not every day but I’m still working on it.

I take time to sit still at home or in nature. I take time to write. I take time to listen to music.

I take time to do nothing, to walk barefoot in the sand and the grass. I take time to slow down, if only a little between my crazy whirlwinds of busyness.

The real trick here was to do nothing; not zone out in front of the TV, which, believe me, I do plenty.

But to really stop and just be me - with no interruptions.

By: Jacqui Mautner

Jacqui is an expat Aussie, current Israeli, living in Tel Aviv and loving it. She is a teacher, explorer and perpetual student. Her happiness comes in the form of travel, good food and good company (or a good book). Follow her journey on Instagram.

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